No habla financial aid

Admissions counselor Tesia Risk speaks with a Wesleyan parentIf you’re a recent graduate, or if you’ve recently helped a son or daughter through college admissions, you know how complicated the process can be. Admissions requirements and financial aid regulations can be so intricate as to sound at first like a different language. The acronyms alone—PLUS loan amounts, SAT1 Composite scores and FAFSA filings—can be enough to spin heads.

Now imagine navigating that process in a truly foreign language. That’s the obstacle facing a growing number of Spanish speaking families across Nebraska as they send children to college.

“These families require another level of support through the whole admissions process,” said Director of Admissions David Duzik.

“They arrive on a lot of campuses and find admissions staff who can’t properly greet them, let alone answer their questions about affording college,” Duzik said. “That’s not the experience we want any family to have when they come to NWU.”

That’s where Tesia Risk comes in. Risk was hired as an NWU admissions counselor in 2008 in part for her Spanish fluency and her desire to help Spanish speaking families.

“No parent wants to rely on a son or daughter to help them understand financial aid,” Risk said. “Imagine having to ask your daughter whether or not you can afford to send her to her top-choice school. That’s why it’s so important to have admissions staff with language skills.”